> 10' from a 9' screen seems a bit close to me. Is it ? <
No, not for the HD sources Art was referencing. They've got resolution to burn. For upscaled DVDs, you'd want to move that back another 3' or so.
Or in other words, HD sources will look good at viewing distance-to-width (d/w) ratios as low as 1.1-1.2, while DVDs will be more like 1.5 and up. For your room scenario, assuming that some/most of your viewing will be from DVDs, you could comfortably consider a 64"x36" (16:9) screen. That would be more than twice the screen area you're experiencing now.
For the kind of money you're talking about, you could get a good used front-projector; and hardware scaler (to keep things simple), or an HTPC software scaler (for maximum flexibility). But prepare yourself for more work (and fun!) than just wheeling a big box into the room.
One factor to keep in mind is that CRT PJs tend to be a bit long (several feet), so if your room is small that will impose a maximum size screen you'll be able to project. But I suspect that maximum (~70"?) would be well within the maximum already imposed by your viewing distance.
One other item that no-one has mentioned is that CRT PJs require a light-controlled environment, while your RPTV can be comfortably viewed in reasonable room-lighting situations. You'll want things dark for CRT use, and that may or may not be feasible for you.